THERE is no more tomorrow for both the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles and the University of the Visayas Baby Lancers faces each other in the deciding Game 3 of the SM-NBTC Cebu Division 1 championship series at the Hoop Dome.
The winner in today’s Game 3 will get a seat to the national finals, which will be held on March 13-16 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The national finals is expected to be three times tougher as the winner will have to play not only against the qualifiers from the Metro Manila qualifying tournaments that include the NCAA and UAAP winners and the Metro Manila Basketball League.
“There will be four foreign basketball teams that will be joining this year. We have a US team, Canadian team, Australian team and a team from New Zealand. So this is going to be an exciting season for the national finals. The Mapua Red Robbins are the champions of NCAA, the UAAP champion is yet to be identified as well as the MMBL champions. So it’s going to be a tall order for whoever wins the Cebu Division finals,” NBTC National Training director Eric Altamirano told SunStar Cebu.
The Cebu Division champion is the only team outside of Metro Manila that will be competing in the Division 1 competition in the national finals.
The teams from Western Visayas, Cagayan de Oro, Davao and Cavite were all relegated to Division 2, making it tougher also for the Central Visayas qualifier in the national scene.
Today, the Game 3 that will start at 2:30 p.m. is expected to be louder as both teams are bringing their supporters to fill at least a portion of Lapu-Lapu City Hoops Dome.
UV will be trying to fulfill its dream to play at the state-of-the-art MOA Arena, while the Magis Eagles are trying to score its seventh straight NBTC championship and return to the National Finals. They held the national title in 2015 when they defeated San Beda College Red Cubs in the finals.
Last year, they made it as far as the semifinal round with Errol Pastor named into the Mythical 5 Team.